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Ain’t No Party Like a Divergent Party! (or…how to throw a party to celebrate the Divergent movie release)

2014 March 17
by Colleen Seisser
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DivergentVeronica Roth’s debut novel, Divergent, was the #1 choice on the 2012 Teens’ Top Ten list, and now the screen adaptation is about to take movie theaters by storm. Last October, we celebrated the story’s conclusion with an Allegiant book release party at my library, and I am here to tell you how you, too, can throw an awesome Divergent themed party leading up to the release of the movie this Friday, March 21.

Costumes are key

We encouraged our party guests to dress up like their favorite character or faction.  Of course, there were many dressed up like Tris in her Dauntless wear, some complete with her tattoos.  However, there were a few that dressed as a faction, and interestingly enough the most popular was Abnegation.  Need a refresher on what the factions wear? Veronica Roth did a few posts on her Web site in which she modeled each of the factions’ colors:

Dauntless:  All black with piercings and tattoos.  Colored hair is also encouraged.  Click here to check out Roth’s interpretation.

Amity: Dress in red and yellow clothing.  Click here for Roth’s version and a bit more elaboration of her idea of the members of Amity.

Erudite: One item of clothing must be blue for members of the Erudite faction.

Candor: This faction is all about honesty, so their clothes are black and white.

Abnegation: Gray clothes and a simple style are important for the Abnegation faction.

Click on this link to see Roth’s styling of the Erudite, Candor, and Abnegation factions.

If you are encouraging costumes, then you could also have a costume contest.  Have attendees vote on whose costume is the best (just make the rule that they can’t vote for themselves, which should be easy for the Abnegation members!).  We gave away copies of the Divergent series books to winners, but you could also have prizes like movie theater gift cards or check out the various fan merchandise available at Hot Topic for prize ideas

Tattoos

To go along with our costume contest, we also made a station where guests could create their own temporary Divergent themed tattoos.  It was actually really easy, and looked cool!  We purchased tattoo pens. I had originally seen them at Walmart, but found a pack on Amazon that included a black marker, which was super important!  Unfortunately, that set is not available on Amazon anymore, but there are other options: markers used for sports markings, or even just regular face paint will work.  Just be sure that it is made for application on the body, and read the fine print to instruct your attendees on how they will remove their tattoos (usually they will just wash off with soap and water).  Also make sure you have lots of black.

If you have the initiative, you can create templates for your guests to use to make temporary tattoos of Tris’ tattoos or the faction symbols.  I used quilter’s plastic to make the templates, and there are other materials out there that could work too.  A simple image search on Google can inspire you create your own version of the faction symbols for you temporary tattoos.  Or, quilter’s plastic is transparent so you could also trace your favorites that you find.  One thing to keep in mind is to make your templates bigger than you want them to be.  This is because you are removing the negative space, and it can be tricky to manipulate the plastic if it is a small image.

You can also buy temporary tattoo paper (seen here on Amazon.com) and print your own temporary tattoos on an inkjet printer, but I preferred to make my own templates because then I could create whatever I wanted, including Tris’ three flying birds tattoo, and the temporary tattoo pens allowed for teens to freestyle whatever that thought they would want as a tattoo.

Talk it up

One of our ice breaker activities was to discuss how Divergent was going to be adapted as a movie, what scenes were we most looking forward to, and what we thought about the actors who were cast as the characters.  Additionally, you could also have a short book discussion.   HarperCollins, the publisher of Divergent, created this handy book discussion guide and it is a good starting point for your discussion.

If you are having trouble getting your discussion off the ground, I have always found that showing short YouTube videos will help.  Divergent has its own YouTube Channel!  Just click here to check it out.   Here are a few of the videos that got our guests talking:

Divergent official trailer:

Divergent Faction Feature:

Entertainment Tonight’s Behind the Scenes on Divergent:

Quizzes and Crafts

I always like to have something that teens can take home after an event at the library.  Many readers will know that there is a faction quiz at the back of the paperback edition of Divergent.  I printed up copies of this quiz and had our teens take the quiz.  If you don’t have access to the quiz, you can use divergentfans.com.  The quiz posted on their site is the same quiz- click here to see it.  Then whatever their result was, they would create a key chain that held their symbol.  If their results were that they were divergent (an equal number of more than one faction), then I let them pick which faction symbol they wanted.

Of course, my faction was Erudite.  Here is how my key chain turned out:

Divergent key chain example

Divergent Faction Key Chain Instructions:

Faction Key Chain Supplies

Faction quizzes (previously printed)

Faction symbols (again I just searched for the symbols I liked best, but I made sure to print them so they could be punched out at the 1″ size)

1″ hole punch (click to see an example)

Tacky Glue

Bottle caps with jewelry hooks (like these found on Amazon)

Clear domes (like these found found on Amazon)

Jewelry pliers

Jump rings, found at any craft store

Key chains (like these found on Amazon)

Faction Key Chain Instructions

1. Take the Divergent Faction Quiz to determine your faction.

2. From the images provided, choose your faction and punch out the faction’s symbol with the 1” hole punch.

3. With a pea size drop of Tacky Glue, affix your faction symbol to the inside of the bottle cap.

4. Being sure to not touch the sticky side, place a clear dome on top of the paper faction symbol.

5. Using a jump ring and jewelry pliers, connect the bottle cap to the key chain.

6. Now you have a shiny new faction key chain!  Fashion it to whatever you like!

Trivia Games

Finally, if you have time left or you need one more activity for your party, trivia is always a sure bet.  I usually search the internet to see if there is anything out there that I can use.  However, if you are a super fan and have read the Divergent series (maybe even more than once?) you can write up your own trivia, too.  If you need some inspiration:  Goodreads has some great Divergent trivia and quizzes, use the Divergent Wiki on Wikia to pull out trivia about the series, imdb.com’s entry for the Divergent movie has some trivia and quotes from the movie, and Veronica Roth’s own site is filled with information about the series and the movie!  Prizes for your trivia game could be similar to those of the costume contest, or you could just play for fun like we do.  We also used small whiteboards so that guests could write down and hold up their answers.  It is way easier than trying to see who can raise their hand or “buzz in” first.  One tip I have for creating trivia: make it easy!  Yes, you should have some questions that are truly stumpers, but nobody wants to play a trivia game where they don’t know any of the answers.   If you think the question is too easy, then you should definitely include it, and then throw in some hard ones to help with the contest side of things.  Take my word for it– you will have a lot more fun this way!

We had a ton of fun at our Allegiant book release party and teens were so excited to just have a place where they could come and hang out and talk about everything Divergent (of course, back in October we had a strict no spoilers rule!).  I have heard and seen many other examples and activities of how to throw a Divergent party, so please comment and add what you have done!

–Colleen Seisser, currently reading Battling Boy by Paul Pope

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11 Responses
  1. Mark Foley permalink
    March 17, 2014

    I’m holding a Divergent program tomorrow at my library!

    We’re going to let them take that same quiz and award them with a faction button to start off, and then have a lot of little stations. For Amity, they can make a rainbow bracelet for their faction, or design a new faction emblem to be put on a button. There will be a trivia contest to test their eruditeness, and a chance to win a prize. For Dauntless, we’re going to have temporary tattoos and Wii Boxing set up. For Abnegation, I’m currently planning on having them decorate a cookie and give it someone else (although I’m sure plenty will just eat them themselves). I’m honestly still not sure what I’m doing for Candor, but I have a couple of ideas.

    I’m hoping it’s going to be a lot of fun!

    • March 17, 2014

      I’m in the final stages of planning a Divergent party for one of my libraries (we’re having it after the movie comes out) and we’re going to use “Would You Rather” or “Two Truths and a Lie” for Candor.

      • Mark Foley permalink
        March 20, 2014

        I actually did end up going with Two Truths and a Lie, and it was one of the more popular stations. The teens really had a lot of fun with it!

    • Hannah Rapp permalink
      March 17, 2014

      I don’t know if you have time to get the supplies, but what I’m doing for our party on Thursday for Candor is having the teens make Post Secret-style art. You can check out Post Secret here: http://postsecret.com/ and there are books published as well, so I’m bringing one of those for teens who aren’t already familiar with the concept. Then they can either take their art home, or leave it to be displayed for a while on our teen bulletin board.

      • Mark Foley permalink
        March 20, 2014

        Hannah, that actually sounds like it would have been really cool! I hope it goes well for you, and I’m going to have to remember that to do it at another program sometime.

  2. Colleen Seisser permalink
    March 17, 2014

    Wow Mark! I am sure your party is going to be a lot of fun. I especially like the rainbow bracelet idea for Amity–it’s perfect! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Colleen Seisser permalink
    March 17, 2014

    Killian–An excellent idea to play “Two Truths and a lie” and “Would You Rather”! Both games are so much fun and definitely spur conversation!

    Hannah–Such a unique idea to have a Post-Secret project for Candor! I would have never thought of that and it fits perfectly for that faction. Awesome!

  4. SarahEllen Hickle permalink
    March 20, 2014

    I love the idea of the tattoo pens! Will need to look into those for a future event…
    We did our Divergent party yesterday. Had different activities for each of the factions, and made buttons/key chains too. One of the girls in our TAG group suggested that we make cards for leukemia patients at a local hospital — her Girl Scout troop had been making blankets for them so this was a great way to collaborate! We did Rainbow Loom friendship bracelets for Amity, Would You Rather for Candor, and brain teasers (instead of trivia, since I knew not all the teens would be familiar with the books yet) for Erudite. Got to compile a brain teaser worksheet from http://worksheets.theteacherscorner.net/make-your-own/brain-teasers. Our Dauntless challenge was I’d Eat That! (Gave each of the teens a cracker, and they had to one-up each other by adding various strange, spicy, and/or “gross” food items to the cracker — and then eat it at the end.)

    • Colleen Seisser permalink
      March 20, 2014

      Awesome SarahEllen! I love your idea for the I’d Eat That for the Dauntless!! So easy to do and it sounds like a lot of fun–even if you just want to watch what people would eat :)

  5. June 8, 2014

    My friends and I did a Divergent themed party for my 14th birthday this year and we played capture the flag at night in the park which is wicked cool (please excuse my overly Bostonian use of ‘wicked’)

    • Colleen Seisser permalink
      June 9, 2014

      Awesome! What a great idea to play capture the flag–sounds like it was a ton of fun :)

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